Saturday, November 10, 2007

Babies and Ramen Noodles

Little Guy has dropped down a little bit lower, just overnight, it almost seems. Or maybe it's been a gradual process and I just haven't noticed. I found out at my last doctor's appointment that he is head down and ready to roll. I can't believe I'm 29 weeks already. Knowing myself the way I do, reality will not slap me in the face until I hit thirty weeks. Fourth quarter, people! Time to step up the game! I still need to pre-register at the hospital. Gotta do that. And pick a pediatrician. This might be a terrible thing, but I'm not obsessive over a pediatrician. I wasn't with Jacelyn, either. My doctor keeps encouraging me to interview pediatricians. What do you ask at one of those? "So, like kids?". I guess they have to like kids, or at least put up a good front. The only particular I have with a pediatrician is whether or not they will support breastfeeding. Other than that, I don't know. You can interview someone, but sitting there yakking about particulars is completely different from how they will actually be around your newborn/infant/toddler. I have reservations about some of the vaccinations, but none of the reservations are so powerful that I would not have him receive them. I guess. What do you ask? I'm clueless.

On the home front, my upstairs neighbor is apparently the Ping-Pong champion of the world. And being the Ping-Pong champion of the world requires practice, folks. None of this namby-pamby couple of hours of practice a night thing - Thursday night there was ping-pong action from about 9:30pm until about 4:00am.I laid down on the loveseat just before 10:00, determined to prop my feet up to hopefully alleviate the massive swelling in my ankles. I watched a little TV and then drifted off to sleep, but was awakened by the ping-pong upstairs. It's not just the pinging and ponging that drives you crazy; it's also the foot motion involved. While at the table itself you have to jump, and slide, and shift around, and then when you aren't playing you have to go outside for a smoke, and apparently run laps around the living room to stay warmed up until it is your turn again. And when you leave at 3AM to make a beer run you have to talk loudly on the stairs, saying "Dude!" a lot, followed by other silly and inane things, but you have to make certain that the 'Dude!" is audible for a good fifty feet, otherwise you aren't cool. And when you're in the ping-pong game, there's nothing more important than street cred. I did take the time to lay there and marvel at their staying power. I think the only things I have ever done for seven hours straight is work, sleep, and read. I endured the noise out of sheer laziness and comfort, but was finally forced to my bedroom at about 4AM. I don't know if there was a doubles match taking place or what, but the foot traffic noise had picked up considerably, and the scribble-scrabbling from over my head was too much to take. The noise wasn't nearly as bad once I was in my bed. They have their ping-pong table in their dining room, which is the room furthest away from the two bedrooms, so it didn't disturb Brian or Jacelyn a bit. Thankfully. Things were better last night. I don't know if the ping pong marathon wore them out, but they were decidedly subdued. We shall see. They seem harmless, if not a little annoying (the entire crowd smokes on the balcony and throws their cigarettes onto the ground, so our patio area is littered with the things). But it could be worse, so I'll roll with it.

Unpacking is going slowly, but at least it is going. We're having Brian's family over for dinner tomorrow evening, so I have a deadline to keep in making things look presentable. Even if that means taking the final few boxes, shoving them into our room and closing the door. I have to say all this cleaning and sorting and putting away is good for my nesting instincts. And I had a moment the first morning we were there that made it all worth it, when I realized I was standing in the kitchen, washing dishes while wearing only my underwear. That moment, odd as it may sound, was magical to me, especially considering that 1.) I have lived with my in-laws for the last 2 1/2 years, and 2.) before that I lived with my sister-in-law for a year, so I haven't been able to wash dishes in my underpants for quite some time. Hooray!

For dinner last night I made the most bizarre salad that turned out to be quite good. I have a enduring fondness and love for ramen noodles, so that must be taken into consideration before you make a face at my atrocious taste:

Ramen Spinach Salad
2 (3 ounce) packages chicken flavored ramen noodles
8 cups torn spinach leaves
2 cups cooked and cubed chicken
1 cup seedless red grapes, halved
1 cup sliced red bell peppers
1/2 cup chopped cashews
1/2 cup Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 lemon, juiced
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup light mayonnaise
1 red bell pepper, sliced
20 grape clusters, for garnish
Cook ramen noodles according to package directions, without adding the flavor packets. Drain noodles and cool. Cut noodles into large bite size pieces.
In a large bowl combine the torn spinach leaves, cooked turkey or chicken, halved grapes, red pepper, cashews, Gorgonzola or blue cheese, and ramen noodles.
In a small bowl mix flavor packets, garlic, and lemon juice and let stand at least 15 minutes. Add oil and mayonnaise and whisk until smooth.
Pour dressing over salad and toss until thoroughly mixed. Garnish with red pepper rings and small grape clusters, if desired. Serve.

I changed this quite a bit, to accommodate our sad lack of groceries: I only used one packet of chicken ramen, and about half a bag of regular fresh spinach mixed with a few handfuls of plain old garden salad mix (to make up for our pitiful lack of other vegetables). We cut up a rotisserie chicken Brian brought home from work, added some sliced tomatoes, and I only had green grapes, so I quartered a handful of those and tossed them in. I didn't have cashews, bell pepper, or cheese, so I had to omit those as well. I did make the dressing almost as directed, except I only used the one seasoning packet from the ramen noodles (and kept the dressing on the side, as I was dubious about it). I let the garlic, seasoning and lemon juice sit for fifteen minutes, then mixed it with the mayo (Duke's fat-free) and olive oil and put it in the fridge, where it sat for about a half hour or so. When I first mixed it up it tasted way too salty, but after sitting the fridge for a while it thickened up and mellowed a bit. I actually liked it (and I am notoriously picky), and Brian liked it, too. We polished off the whole big salad and all the dressing. Yum! Weird, but yum.

I'm going to get some work done and try to get through this day so I can get home and hang out with Jacelyn, whom I feel like I haven't really seen or spent time with in weeks. Have a good weekend and a good Veteran's Day!

1 comment:

Nicole said...

Karl and I got quite a chuckle out of your description of the ping pong tournies going on upstairs. Being the champion requires practice, folks. Too much! :D
Your new home sounds so domestic. I can totally see you and Brian sitting in your new home eating your salad. I bet you are so happy to be out of the in-laws house! Washing dishes in your underwear is one of the greatest luxuries in life after having to live with others for so long. Its awesome being able to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night without getting dressed, or having to dress after a shower but before leaving the bathroom.